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Why Richmond are “struggling to get energy back” after horror injury run

Richmond legend Matthew Richardson says his former side’s trademark high-pressure game plan has dropped off considerably this year.

The Tigers face the prospect of playing without Jack Riewoldt, Dustin Martin, Alex Rance and Trent Cotchin in a game for the first time since 2008 against Port Adelaide this week.

Speaking on 3AW, Richo questioned whether the side’s hunger was at the same levels as previous years.

“The thing’s that dropped off a bit is that pressure,” he said.

“It was a manic and high-energy game plan, they won 19 games and a final last year.

“Maybe just maybe they’re just five to 10 per cent off, they’re struggling to get that energy back and with injuries, it’s taken them back 25 per cent.”

Richmond face a tough stretch of games in the coming weeks and Richardson says they needs to “pinch a win” to remain in finals contention.

“You can’t go the next three or four weeks without a win,” he told Sportsday.

“You might get to finals with 11 or 12 (wins) this year.

“The thing that’s hurt them over the last few weeks is they’ve actually been in games late but defensively they’ve been opened up because Rance has been out.

“They’ve still got to travel to Adelaide (this week), it’s going to be tough.”

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